Google has paid billions of dollars to have its apps on Samsung phones

Eli Wallace

  • Google apparently paid Samsung $8 billion over four years
  • The payments were for keeping Search, Assistant, and Play Store as default services
  • He also wanted the Galaxy Store to be available through the Play Store

Google Play Store, Illustration | photo: own

The ongoing lawsuit between Google and Epic Games has brought more interesting information about the business practices of the Mountain View-based internet giant. According to testimony submitted by Epic Games representatives, Google paid $8 billion over four years to keep its Search, Assistant, and Play Store as default services on Samsung phones. This is reported by the agency Bloomberg and server Android Authority.

The deal with Samsung will pay off for Google

James Kolotouros, vice president of partnerships at Google, said Monday that Google has struck deals with Android phone makers. The goal of these deals was to ensure that the Play Store was pre-installed on their phones.

Also, in 2019, Google reportedly launched an initiative called the “Banyan Project.” As part of it, the company invested funds so that the Google Play Store could remain on Samsung devices alongside the Galaxy Store. The company even offered to pay Samsung $200 million over four years to make the Galaxy Store available on the Play Store, including its billing system. Google’s lawyers, however, have produced an internal email from 2019 from Jamie Rosenberg, the former head of Google Play and Android operations, in which he writes that his team is stopping the Banyan project because “It creates an incentive dynamic where store teams will compete with each other.”

More than half of revenue

Instead, Google has reportedly signed three deals with Samsung worth $8 billion. One internal document also shows how Google saved a billion dollars over four years by backing down on its demand that the Play Store be the only app store displayed on the home screen of Samsung devices. However, according to Kolotouros, Google and Samsung never agreed that Samsung would not be allowed to put its Galaxy Store on the home screen of their devices. His testimony also revealed that Samsung’s phones and other devices generate more than half of the Play Store’s revenue.

Google and Samsung - cooperation

Google and Samsung, illustrative

Payments to manufacturers are common practice

In a current lawsuit, Epic Games is trying to prove that Google threw a spanner in the works for third-party app stores on Android devices by paying manufacturers to pre-install and set the Play Store as the default place to download apps. Google has been making these deals for a long time, and they are the subject of a separate antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Do you think Google is acting fairly? Share your opinion in the discussion!

About the author
Eli Wallace is a seasoned tech writer and gaming enthusiast. With a background in computer engineering, he offers insightful, informed commentary on hardware innovations, cutting-edge technology trends, and the latest in video game news and developments.
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